Monday, April 5, 2010

the women

I have delivered a baby and performed a 9-week abortion. Although both procedures were very different, they were equally powerful.

In the delivery, it was the woman’s fourth baby. A girl this time, after three boys. She was thrilled and wept at the sound of her crying daughter. I cried a little bit as well. This pregnancy was so wanted and so desired. Plus, being the first person to touch a baby and deliver her/him into this world is incredible in itself.

In the 9-week abortion, it was the woman’s third pregnancy. This pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted. She had two children at home and was not financially ready to bring another child into the world at this time. Plus, she was with a new partner and was not ready to have a child with him. It was a hard decision, but in the end, the right one for her. During the procedure, she talked about her children and cried a little bit. When it was over, she looked so relieved and thanked me.

I have been so fortunate to have affected both of these women’s lives in unique and different ways. Both were such beautiful experiences that I will never forget.

Delivering a baby only reaffirmed to me that motherhood should be a choice. Women should not be forced into that position or punished by it. Motherhood is beautiful but it is hard and not always at the best time or with the right person.

Performing an abortion made me further appreciate that abortion is a hard, thoughtful and challenging decision. It is personal and sacred. And nobody should interfere with that decision. It also made me realize how easy it is to perform a first trimester abortion. The procedure itself was over in 7 minutes-and performed entirely by me-a medical student. And with over 90% of abortions in this category, it’s aggravating to think anti-choicers and politicians out there are putting so many blockades in front of women, almost forcing them into a second trimester procedure (more expensive and slightly riskier).

Thank you to all the abortioneers out there for continuing to fight for women’s choices. Having participated in both a birth and an abortion, my pro-choice beliefs have been reaffirmed.


  1. thanks for what you do. . .if only we could xerox you

  2. I love this! Thank you for a great post. Actually, several mothers (including one of our bloggers) have explicitly told me that having children made them more pro-choice than ever because they realized how hard motherhood is, and how hard it is to do well, and how much harder those things are if you are not ready and happy to be having a child.

  3. Thank you.

    I had an an abortion almost 20 years ago at age 41.

  4. My abortion experience is from 1969 when I took a friend to a motel on Colfax Avenue in Denver CO for an illegal abortion. She was a divorced mother of two children, pregnant with a child she could not have because her religious parents would kick her out of their home. She feared them but she also needed their support, needed a home for her children and for herself.

    Leaving my friend, Linda, at this motel, seemed really wrong at the time. I worried about her because I knew it was illegal. My own naivete then makes me cringe now. Nontheless, I picked her up at the prescribed time and drove her back to spend the night with a bunch of Colorado State University students who shared a house. We were five women who opened our home to this woman who needed to catch a break. She told her parents that she was going out with us and would return the next morning.

    In the middle of the night, back in Fort Collins CO, after massive bleeding, when I had to take her to the emergency room and when she ended up in surgery and ICU, I became vividly aware of reproductive issues.

    I also know what it's like to deliver babies. I have delivered 7 full term babies because the doctors were not around. I know how important these children are to their mothers. I'm proud to say that I delivered them despite the fact that the doctors failed to show up in time. Both moms and dads have thanked me in so many touching ways.

    And finally, I have had patients that know this:
    that they cannot afford another child,

    they cannot have another child because of the status of their health,

    their baby was a stillbirth but at 14 and because the father of their baby was their own biological father, family members told her she can have another child,

    their pregnancy is killing her because she has become a very brittle, pregnancy-induced diabetic,

    her mental status is so fragile because she was abused by her uncle or priest or brother

    her partner has infected her with some/several STI(s)

    I could continue this list but won't. Suffice it to say that the fuctards on the streets adjacent to abortion clinics don't get it, don't want to get it, don't want to know the complexities of women's lives.

    I'll stop. But not without saying this: Thank God Almightly for Women and Men who respect women enough to show them the compassion they so richly deserve. To All Abortioneers and their Supporters, I am shouting from the rafters a Big Thanks.

  5. Moral Pilgrim, thanks so much for sharing your story! I couldn't agree with you more!


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.